Winter Bliss Birthday Giveaway

Last weekend was a big birthday weekend for friends and family and to celebrate I am giving away two of my newest machine embroidery sets. Winter Bliss was finished a couple of weeks ago, and it is one of my favorites. In fact, every time I have to select pictures to post, I find that every block is a favorite and it is so hard to decide. The blocks designs are by AccuQuilt and the embroidery is digitized by yours truly.

Just leave a comment on this post between now and Friday, December 5 at midnight EST, and two commenters will be chosen at random to receive a downloadable machine embroidery set.

If you win, you can embroider one or two blocks a day and have a beautiful Christmas table runner or wall hanging or throw just in time for Christmas. The embroidery is simple so each block stitches up quickly. This set uses several of the AccuQuilt holiday dies as well as the numbers. Templates are included in the set so that you can trace any shapes for dies that you don’t have or you can cut those extra shapes with a digital craft cutter like a Silhouette or SNC or Cricut. There is an individual template file for each block which will help you organize your cutting and keep the shapes for each block separate.

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It’s All About the Kids Blog Hop

Do you love children’s quilts as much as I do? Maybe it’s the child in me, but I love the bright colors and the whimsical designs. They remind us of such simpler times. SewCalGal is sponsoring a great blog hop this week–which I will contribute to later in the week–and I think you’ll find some inspiration and fun things to do with children and for children.

Microsoft Word - Story Elements Posters.doc

 

Monday, October 27th

Tuesday, October 28th

Wednesday, October 29th

SewCalGal

Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st

Jacquelynne Steves, The Art of Home

Wendy Sheppard/Ivory Spring

 

And as a tease for what I’ll be doing later this week–stay tuned for paper (I mean fabric) dolls.

Image of paper dolls 
 

Mr. Potato Head and more

Today’s post is about using the Brother Scan N Cut and novelty fabric motifs. The entire post can be found at a new blog area that I created that is specifically for projects and tutorials using/creating precut shapes and machine embroidery applique. I have added a link on the menu bar to that new blog area for those of you who are interested in machine embroidery, digitizing applique, and have either a die cutting system or one of the electronic cutters like the Silhouette Cameo or Brother Scan n Cut.

Recently I gave a talk at Electric City Quilters Guild in Anderson, SC. One of the members there showed me a beautiful quilt she made for her granddaughter using a Princess novelty fabric. She cut the motifs out and appliqued them onto the blocks. I think this could very loosely be called broderie perse. While the motifs are not fussy cut like real broderie perse, it is a patterned motif appliqued to a background.

On my way home I stopped at Mary Jo’s and happened to see an adorable Mr. Potato Head fabric on the sale table. This was the perfect opportunity to try to fussy cut the motifs with the Brother Scan N Cut.

More . . .

 
 

Great Video for Making a Stencil

This is a great video showing how to make a quilting stencil using the Silhouette Cameo. A stencil like this could be used for hand quilting. It would also be a great way to make a stencil for marking for free motion or freehand longarm quilting.

This video is by Margaret Wilburn at her blog “Crazy4Cutters

 
 

Superheroes and Other Things

Life has been pretty busy around here. My Mom always wants to stitch and needs someone to help her with pressing and trimming. She only has enough energy to stitch about an hour and a half, so while she’s resting, I am doing other things. We have made enough blocks for a couple of quilt tops, but haven’t put them together yet.

I have also been doing a little blogging about machine embroidery for the Craftsy website. That has really kept me busy, but is expanding my horizons. I’m learning new things just from writing about machine embroidery. This is a project that I posted on the Craftsy blog this week.

And —ta da– I’ve been experimenting with a number of new cutting tools. Do any of you have a Silhouette Cameo, Slice, eClips, or other blade type cutting machine? Most people use them for scrapbooking, but I have had a lot of fun cutting fabric with them. At first I had a hard time with fabric, but have learned a few things along the way. So far, this is what I know.

Use iron-on fusible (I used Wonder Under), peel the paper off the back of the fabric before you stick it to the mat. The mat itself is sticky, so you just have to lay the fabric in the right place on the mat and adhere is by rubbing with your fingers and you’re ready to cut. If you have cut with one of these machines, how did you prepare the fabric? Is one kind of fabric better than another? So far, it seems to me that batiks work really well and lower thread count fabrics, not as well.

I’ll talk more about this kind of cutter as I experiment and will write some instructions for things I have learned. Here’s one of my first test projects. My grandsons are really into superheroes. I couldn’t find t-shirts anywhere with superhero logos, so I made my own using a Silhouette Cameo cutter, Embird digitizing software, and MaketheCut cutting machine software. The stitching around the parts of the logo are a simple zigzag which I digitized with Embird. But, one could stitch this down with a regular sewing machine zigzag stitch too. This was very simple to do. Now, I have to find time to do a second one since they’re twins.

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This is really neat that there are new tools (or at least new to me) that will cut applique. However, I will never, ever, give up my AccuQuilt die cutter for piecing quilts. Isn’t it wonderful that we have all these wonderful tools?